Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Is Your Manuscript Pretty?

I had it pointed out to me that it doesn't matter if you write Pulitzer prize quality material. If it doesn't look good it'll never be read. Don't believe me? Fine, but can you afford not to? If your manuscript has lengthy paragraphs, say over 2-3 sentences per and not much dialogue then it's probably destined for the rejection pile.

I've heard from an eyewitness that agents and editors actually flip through your manuscript and may not read it at all based on the way the pages look. I've read that you should avoid large blocks of exposition but I didn't realize that it was because of the way it looks on the page I just thought it was because it'd bore your readers to tears. So you need to make it pretty. Leave plenty of white space and keep your paragraphs short.

I know I've harped on the Marshall Plan for Novel Writing a lot on this blog but listen to this. In a 400 page work an agent/editor will flip to page 100, 200,& 300 to make sure you have your turning points in place. Just as Evan Marshall tells us to do. He is an agent after all so he should know.

So add making a pretty manuscript to your list of things to do if you want to get published.

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